August 11, 2023 at 10:53 AM·4 min read
Sharron Davies, who has won numerous major titles and medals, has been called a racist by trolls, which she finds 'hilarious because I have got mixed-race kids'
Sharron Davies, who has won numerous major titles and medals, has beencalled a racist by trolls, which she finds 'hilarious because I have got mixed-race kids' - Clara Molden for The Telegraph
Olympian Sharron Davies said activists call her children’s school and abuse her kids over her views on trans women’s participation in sport.
The Olympic swimmer, former Gladiator and sports commentator, who attended 12 consecutive Olympic Games, was vilified after speaking out against biological males competing in women’s sport.
She also said she has not received enough support from fellow athletes who are too scared to speak up and lose “revenue”.
Ms Davies, 60, told the Off Air podcast she is inundated by trolls who try to stop her “debating and presenting the science”.
She said “Activists [ring] every single job I have, ringing every single charity, ringing my children’s schools, abusing my kids, calling me every name under the sun.
”[They say] I am a bigot, I’m a homophobe, obviously a transphobe. I’m even a racist which I find hilarious because I have got mixed-race kids.”
She added: “They use these terms not to actually mean it, they use it to bully. They use it to shut you up and to stop you trying to debate and present the science.”
Olympian, mother and MBE holder
Ms Davies, who has won numerous major titles and medals, including five World Masters records and an MBE awarded by the Queen for Services to Sport, has three children and one granddaughter.
She had eldest children Elliott and Grace, who are in their late 20s, with British 400m runner Derek Raymond, while her youngest, Finlay, is a teenager, whose father is a BA pilot.
Ms Davies agreed that the abuse she has been receiving is misogynistic, adding many male athletes have not supported her in her argument.
She said: “I think they keep their heads down because they don’t want it to affect their revenue.
“In 2017 to 2018, over a weekend I contacted 60 of my friends in the world of sport.
“Every single one of those is an Olympic medallist or a world champion and every single one of those is a household name.
“More than half of them were men. Only five of that 60 have ever put their head above the parapet.”
Davies said decathlete and Olympics legend Daley Thompson is among the few male athletes who have spoken out over the issue.
‘Daley doesn’t get the same abuse’
However, she said the 65-year-old has not faced the same abuse as she has.
She said: “Daley gets a hundredth of the abuse I get, and he has exactly the same views and says exactly the same things.
“It feels like it is totally and utterly a men’s rights movement. Historically, women get hit over the head with this ‘be kind’ slogan. Yet if you turn around to men and you said, ‘Well, let’s be kind to Lance Armstrong. He was only cheating a little bit - it’s not going to matter. He’s only got a one per cent advantage on us - let him carry on’.
“They would just laugh in your face.”
Ms Davies, who now works for BBC Sport, has just released a book,Unfair Play: The Battle for Women’s Sport, in which she discusses the challenges posed by trans women competing in women’s sport.
She has previously said that after she wrote to the International Olympic Committee about the issue she lost “the vast majority of my work”.
In 2022, Ms Davies warned of a wave of legal action from “biological females” if American transgender swimmer Lia Thomas and other trans athletes continued to compete in women’s swimming. In June that year, Fina, the world’s governing swimming body, barred trans women from elite competitions if they had undergone male puberty.
Ms Davies welcomed the news, stating: “I can’t tell you how proud I am of my sport, Fina and Fina president for doing the science, asking the athletes/coaches and standing up for fair sport for females. Swimming will always welcome everyone no matter how you identify but fairness is the cornerstone of sport.”
The Union Cycliste Internationale has banned trans women cyclists who have gone through male puberty, and athletics and rugby have similar policies.
Other bodies have followed suit with British Rowing banning trans women from female-only domestic competitions from September.
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